news biden approves disaster declaration for buchanan tazwell but bad news no individual assistance
Local/Virginia

Biden approves disaster declaration for Buchanan, Tazewell: No individual assistance

buchanan county flood
Photo courtesy Gladys Jennings.

President Biden has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Buchanan County and Tazewell County in response to devastating flooding in the Southwest Virginia region in July.

Bad news there, though: the declaration approved Friday by the president does not include individual assistance.

According to a press release from the White House, assistance under the declaration is to the state and to local governments, and to private nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding and mudslides.

A July 12-13 storm dumped six inches of rain on the region, damaging more than 100 homes, and leaving many residents in danger of additional flooding every time it rains, due to damage done to rivers and streams.

The declaration from President Biden leaves open the possibility that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the Commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Homeowners in the area had been hoping to be able to tap into individual assistance grants, but according to FEMA, there have only been three federal individual assistance declarations made in the past 20 years – two associated with hurricanes, the third with a 2011 earthquake.

Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but I'm over that. Oh, and I'm a progressive who voted for Biden, but I'm over that, too. (We need somebody else in 2024!) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]